IDG News Service - Dirty political tricks are going Web 2.0 in the 2008 presidential election, with scammers using Facebook, text messaging and e-mail hacking to try to trick people into missing their chance to vote.
Scammers have long used fake fliers or automated calling banks to target groups of voters in hopes of either scaring them away from polling stations or tricking them into showing up on the wrong day.
But this year, these dirty tricks have expanded. In a conference call with media on Tuesday, Jon Greenbaum, a spokesman for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said that these tactics are on the rise in 2008. "We're surprised at how ubiquitous it's become and how sophisticated it's become," he said.
His group had seen robocalls and fliers with this type of message in 12 states so far in this election, including Florida, Louisiana and Virginia. That's about twice as many states as during the 2004 presidential election.
On Facebook, for example, there have been at least three instances of fraudulent voting messages posted over the past two days, according to Facebook Inc. spokesman Barry Schnitt. In each case, messages were posted saying that Republicans were set to vote on Tuesday, while Democrats would vote on Wednesday.
One of these messages was posted on the Facebook group page for Missouri State University, Greenbaum said.
The messages were quickly removed after being flagged by users and have been seen by only a small number of people on the site, Schnitt said. "Facebook is not a very effective way to do this," he said, adding that the company plans to refer the messages to law enforcement.
Youth voting group Rock the Vote says voters in Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Pennsylvania have received similar text messages on their mobile phones, reading: "Due to long lines tomorrow, all Obama voters are asked to vote Wednesday. Thank you."
E-mail hacking has come into play, too.
About 35,000 students at George Mason University were sent a fake e-mail early Tuesday, also telling them to vote on Wednesday. The message appeared to be from the school's provost, Peter Stearns. According to The Washington Post, a hacker managed to route this message to the university via servers at Wiredforchange.com, a Democratic fund-raising company in Washington.
"To the Mason community," the fake e-mail reads. "Please note that election day has been moved to November 5th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you."
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?
- Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses
- IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center
- IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results
- Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup... All Government IT White Papers
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- All Government IT Webcasts